Many Christians today make the grave mistake of ignoring the Old Testament, simply because they believe only the New Testament matters.
After all, the Old Testament presented the Law from whom no one can be saved. Romans 3:10 says,
"Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
The New Testament, on the other hand, presents the Lord Jesus Christ in all His suffering and glory, fulfilling the Law to the pleasure of the Father.
It is by believing in Him that we are saved. Galatians 2:16 tells us,
"...knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified."
The Bible is clear that our salvation is by faith in Christ alone. Does this mean we can simply ignore the Old Testament and not honor it because Christ already fulfilled the Law?
Let's talk about that.
From the mouth of the Saviour Himself
Many Christians who "live by faith" ignore the Law, or more specifically God's commandments in the Old Testament, because we can't receive salvation from adhering to it and fulfilling it.
While it's true that no one can be saved by obedience to the Law, we must understand that the fulfillment of the Law was required for all of us to be saved. The Law was fulfilled in order for God's requirements to be met.
The one who fulfilled it is the One we put our faith in for salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ. The words recorded in Matthew 5:17-20 come from His very lips:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
Christ the Lord fulfilled the Law on our behalf because no man can ever fulfill it! Romans 8:3-4 tells us,
"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
So do we still honor the Old Testament?
Friends, our salvation can only come by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We understand the salvation He gives to us by knowing that according to the Law, we are all condemned; no one can ever meet the very high and righteous requirements of God.
In His love, however, God sent His only begotten Son to fulfill the Law for His very own pleasure - our salvation, bought by the precious and sinless blood of the Lamb of God.
The Old Testament, then, should not be ignored as some "old thing that's insignificant." It tells us through its 39 books that God is holy and we are sinful, but because of His love and grace through the promised Messiah, we have salvation made available for us.
Moreover, we get to know God fully through the entire Bible; not just John 3:16, but from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)